Top Alternatives For Constant Contact
If you’ve researched getting started with email marketing, you’ve probably came across Constant Contact. Constant Contact has some of the best name recognition. Unfortunately, they’re not nearly the best platform though. They’re just really, really good at promoting their brand.
Here’s some reasons why you might want to reconsider Constant Contact, and the platforms that I’d recommend most.
Reasons Not To Choose Constant Contact
Although Constant Contact is a solid platform for SMBs, there are way more robust platforms out there, and at a better price, too. There are some features that Constant Contact hasn’t implemented that have become pretty standard for all the other entry-level platforms. Here’s some reasons you might not want to go with Constant Contact.
There’s More Affordable Solutions
Pretty much every entry-level email marketing platform (including Constant Contact) has a very affordable starting price. There’s platforms that even offer forever-free plans. However, there are platforms out there that are priced way better than Constant Contact (both initially and as recipients ramp-up). In addition, many of these platforms have way better features.
Constant Contact Doesn’t Support Automated Workflows
Marketing automation is huge to me. I’ve found that automated workflows perform much better than standardized campaigns. You can also create an “Evergreen” automation and it’ll steadily run in the background as new recipients enter the automations. Not only is that more effective email marketing, but it’s also on autopilot!
Constant Contact does allow for autoresponders, which are highly effective. When compared to the possibilities of automated workflows, however, there’s no comparing the two.
There’s Platforms With Better Segmentation
Constant Contact does allow for campaign segmentation, but it’s not as robust as some of the other platforms out there. Constant Contact doesn’t support ‘Tagging’ of recipients. Tagging of recipients has become a huge trend in email marketing automation. Through campaign goals, it’s possible to add and remove tags from individual recipients.
Being able to filter by list, database fields, previous campaign interactions and tags allows for much more robust segmentation than just being able to use database fields.
There’s Better Personalization Available
Constant Contact does allow for personalization, but it’s only simple data-merges. Okay, I have to give them a little bit more credit, because you can create dynamic content, but that’s only through API. Not through the Constant Contact platform itself.
“Dynamic Content”, “Conditional Content”, “Variable Content” or whatever else you want to call it is more than just a mail-merge. You can create complete sections of the email body that will only appear to certain recipients, based on criteria. That criteria might be the contents of a database field, previous campaign interactions, custom tags and other criteria.
Way more robust than a simple data mail-merge.
Best Constant Contact Alternatives
Now that we’ve illustrated some of the main reasons on why you might want to consider other services besides Constant Contact, let’s take a look at a couple of the other solutions that are available. Below you’ll find the top picks for Constant Contact alternatives and the reasoning behind it.
GetResponse is a highly robust email marketing automation suite. It was tough deciding who should be mentioned first; ActiveCampaign (below) or GetResponse, as they’re both incredibly robust platforms. I chose GetResponse, only because I feel it’s a lot more intuitive than ActiveCampaign, otherwise it’d be ActiveCampaign all the way!
Main GetResponse Features:
Automated Drip Campaigns – GetResponse has some highly robust campaign automations. They’ve also got one of the more intuitive workflow designers, too. GetResponse has also integrated the marketing automation with their other features, such as the landing page builder and the webinar functionality.
Personalization – I like how easy GetResponse makes it to personalize the headlines. There’s a little button right there when you’re drafting your headline. GetResponse also allows for conditional content, for insane personalization.
Cheaper Than Constant Contact – GetResponse is less expensive than the basic Constant Contact plan (that doesn’t include autoresponders and other features). This is true as you compare all the different subscriber tiers. It’s worth noting that GetResponse also has different pricing tiers, but their basic comes with automated workflows and all the important features.
Landing Pages – GetResponse has a very intuitive landing page builders. The landing pages integrate with other features of the GetResponse platform, such as the automated campaign series and the webinar functionality. You can host the landing pages on GetResponse’s servers, or have them appear on your own domain or sub-domain.
Webinars – If you’re in the B2B vertical, this could be a very useful feature. For B2C marketers, there’s still applications, although some verticals will definitely be able to leverage this functionality better than others. GetResponse gives you everything you need to host webinars. The webinars also integrate into the landing pages and marketing automation functionality.
Honestly, it’s hard to find any flaws in this platform. In order to find email solutions with better features, you’ll have to get into the high-end marketing automation suites, such as Marketo, Silverpop, Bronto, ect. Those suites have plans that start above $1,000 per month.
Get Started With GetResponse
Ready to get started with GetResponse? Start your free trial! Test drive the platform risk free and see for yourself. Constant Contact also offers a free trial, so you can test the two platforms side-by-side and see how they compare yourself. I promise you’ll be impressed with the robust functionality of GetResponse.
ActiveCampaign is another powerful email marketing platform. As mentioned above, it was hard to decide whether to place ActiveCampaign or GetResponse at the top. It’s also worth mentioning, that I’ve personally vetted ActiveCampaign for a whitelabeled agreement for my families print show (I’ve got no affiliation with them) and have got many of my personal clients working with ActiveCampaign.
The main reason I chose GetResponse over ActiveCampaign was because I felt GetResponse was more intuitive. Here’s why I feel ActiveCampaign beats Constant Contact.
Main GetResponse Features:
Automated Drip Campaigns – ActiveCampaign has some very powerful automation workflows. ActiveCampaign also syncs with tons of other platforms and services, and is able to incorporate many of these services into these automations, whether it’s using them as automation triggers, or actually incorporating them into the automations themselves.
Pricing – The basic ActiveCampaign plan (which includes campaign automations) starts at half the price of Constant Contact’s basic plan (that doesn’t even include autoresponders). ActiveCampaign Lite continues to beat the basic Constant Contact plan on all pricing tiers, and the next level up stays competitive.
Personalization – ActiveCampaign has some robust personalization, including very easy to use dynamic content. You can make entire modules in the email designer dynamic based on a wide range of criteria, including database fields, interactions with previous campaigns and more.
Reporting – I feel that most email marketing campaign reporting is pretty comparable, but ActiveCampaign goes above and beyond on a couple things. ActiveCampaign uses reverse-ip lookup to tell where in the world your recipients are opening their emails. This can be displayed on a map.
ActiveCampaign also allows you to generate a link to the reports from each campaign. This is helpful when sharing the results with other decision-makers, who probably don’t want to have to login to an email marketing suite to view the results. The reports associated with the shareable links update in realtime, so it’s way better than exporting a PDF or other files.
Integration Partners – ActiveCampaign is very proud of their API and their long, long list of integration partners. I wouldn’t be surprised if ActiveCampaign has more integration partners than any other email service provider. This creates some very interesting abilities to interact with other CRMs, POS, CMS and all those other fun acronyms.
I feel that ActiveCampaign could be a lot more intuitive. The platform is easy enough to use. If you’ve got experience working with one email platform, you can pretty much navigate any one of them. There are some things that get a little complicated though, like the if/then statements, some of their integrations, ect.
The simple functions are very easy to use, but making the most out of this powerful platform gets a little complex.
Get Started With ActiveCampaign
Ready to get started with ActiveCampaign? Start your free trial! Test-drive ActiveCampaign risk-free, and see how the platform compares to Constant Contact. ActiveCampaign is a very robust and insanely affordable email marketing suite.
Drip is an email marketing platform that specializes in marketing automation and dynamic opt-in forms.
Main Drip Features:
Automated Drip Campaigns – If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge fan of drip campaigns and automated workflows. Drip was designed specifically for this, too. In fact, the signup process will also work you through creating the first campaign automation.
Best Opt-In Forms Ever – Drip was designed by LeadPages, a company specializing in opt-in widgets. Therefore, it’s easy to see why this platforms opt-in widgets are so awesome! In addition to your standard HTML forms, you can also create interstitial widgets that pop-up when a certain criteria has been met (number of seconds, scrolled x-amount through page, ect.). These widgets will float with the page as the user scrolls.
These opt-in forms can also be used to enter recipients into specific automations. An example of this would be a widget pop-up to enter an educational course, download an ebook, ect. This allows you to create relevant call-to-actions to match up with blog content, to opt recipients into highly effective automated campaigns.
Forever-Free Plan – Although it’s a very small tier (up to 100 recipients) Drip does offer a forever-free plan. As long as you don’t exceed 100 recipients, Drip is 100% free.
Personalization – Drip does allow for dynamic content, but it’s not as intuitive. There’s a common markup language for dynamic content that Drip uses. Therefore, in order to display dynamic content, you’ll need to manually code the parameters.
Website Integration – Drip integrates with company websites, enabling site-driven campaign triggers and conversion rules. This also allows you to create different opt-in widgets for different pages.
The WYSIWYG email designer sucks! Seriously, how do you build this insanely intuitive and robust email platform, but have the most pathetic email designer in the industry? In their defense, you can simply paste in an HTML source code, and they do support dynamic content, but if you can’t code, designing in Drip isn’t fun.
Drips pricing is also somewhat steep compared to other solutions. Granted, there’s a forever-free tier, but it’s a very small tier (up to 100 recipients). Also, the Drip plans are billed annually, instead of monthly.
Get Started With Drip
Ready to get started with Drip email marketing? Signup for Free! Drip has a forever-free plan of up to 100 recipients. Once you go over the limit, choose between one of their different pricing tiers. Compare Drip next to Constant Contact and see how they both compare.
Learn More: Drip – Email Marketing Campaign Automation
See What Other Email Service Providers Are Available
Curious to see what other Constant Contact alternatives are available? Check out our list of email marketing platforms. Our directory page makes it easy to compare the different solutions side-by-side. The directory also links to comprehensive overviews of each email solution, for in-depth information. See what else is available and how they compare to Constant Contact. And remember, pretty much every solution will offer a free trial, so you can compare them all side-by-side!
Learn More: Compare Email Service Providers